Friday, March 15, 2013 3:04 PM
The State Board of Education voted to adopt final-form regulations to amend Chapter 4, Academic Standards and Assessment, of Title 22, the Pennsylvania Education Code, said Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis.
Specifically, the board’s action puts into place the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards and requires students to demonstrate proficiency on a Keystone Exam, validated local assessment or a comparable Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate exam.
As required by the new regulations, the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards in English language arts and mathematics must be implemented in all public schools across the state by July 1, 2013.
Similar to the nationwide Common Core State Standards initiative, which is under way in 45 states, Pennsylvania tailored these standards to meet the needs of Pennsylvania’s students and adopted its own assessments.
Tomalis noted that these rigorous standards will serve as a framework for schools as to what students should be taught and have knowledge of based on their grade level.
The board also adopted the final implementation schedule for the Keystone Exams, which are rigorous, end-of-course assessments designed to ensure a student’s mastery of specific academic content. These exams are required to graduate from a Pennsylvania high school.
Beginning with the class of 2017 – this year’s 8th-grade class – students will be required to pass three Keystone Exams – algebra I, biology and literature – or a comparable assessment to obtain a high school diploma.
The class of 2019 – this year’s 6th-grade class – will be required to pass four Keystone Exams – algebra I, biology, literature and composition.
The class of 2020 – this year’s 5th-grade class – and beyond will be required to pass five Keystone Exams – algebra I, biology, literature, composition and civics and government.
The composition and civics and government exams are subject to available state funding for development and implementation of each assessment.
Additionally, subject to available funding, five additional Keystone Exams would be made available to school districts for voluntary use based on the following schedule: geometry in 2016-17, U.S. history in 2017-18, algebra II in 2018-19, chemistry in 2019-20 and world history in 2020-21.
The board also voted to repeal the required culminating graduation project, and the Keystone Exams, from counting as one-third of a student’s course grade.
These new academic standards and the Keystone Exams are supported across the state by the business community, higher education leaders and early education organizations.
These groups recognize the importance of increasing academic rigor and the long-term benefit to students and the state’s economy.
For the past few years, the department has put into place comprehensive, high-quality resources, such as the Standards Aligned System (SAS), for schools and educators to use to enhance their academic and instructional programs and services.
SAS is a web-based system that provides educators access to Pennsylvania Common Core-aligned curriculum framework; materials and resources for classroom instruction, including a classroom diagnostic tool that provides details of each student’s strengths, weaknesses, knowledge and skills in specific content areas; voluntary model curriculum; and learning progressions that indicate how students progress toward mastery of the skills needed for postsecondary success.
Statewide, more than 143,000 registered users make use of the SAS web site, www.pdesas.org. To date, SAS has been accessed more than 29 million times.
The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) will no longer be required for 11th-grade students but will continue to be taken by students in grades 3 through 8. Additionally, the PSSA will be aligned to the Pennsylvania Common Core State Academic Standards in the 2014-15 school year.
Now that the board has taken final action to amend the regulations, they will now go to the House and Senate Education committees and Independent Regulatory Review Commission for consideration.
Source: PDE Press Release, March 14, 2013; http://www.education.state.pa.us.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 7:13 PM
Friday, February 22, 2013 3:46 PM
A free seminar sponsored by PA Principals Association and McGraw-Hill - Intervention, The Administrator's Key Role in Responding to Struggling Students, will be presented by Wayne Callender in two locations:
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Berks County IU 14
1111 Commons Boulevard, Reading, PA
Friday, April 26, 2013
Midwestern IU 4
453 Maple Street, Grove City, PA
For more information, click here.
For a registration form, click here.
Thursday, February 21, 2013 2:24 PM
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is implementing Pennsylvania'ss Educator Effectiveness System. This includes PVAAS Teacher Specific Reporting for the 15 percent teacher specific data. PDE is offering to all LEAs the option of participating in a one-time pilot of the PVAAS roster verification process and system for PVAAS Teacher Specific Reporting.
Participation in the pilot will allow teachers, principals, and superintendents/designees to access PVAAS Teacher Specific Reporting in the fall of 2013. This is the ONLY opportunity for LEAs to experience the process, time and resources needed to yield PVAAS Teacher Specific Reporting before it actually "counts" towards the first PVAAS three-year rolling average in the Teacher Evaluation System.
Participation in the PVAAS pilot will provide your LEA with information to plan for full implementation of the PVAAS roster verification process and system during 2013-2014 school year. LEAs may choose their level of pilot participation: opting to include all schools in your LEA, some schools, or only one school. LEAs also have the option of determining which grade levels, subjects, courses and number of teachers to include from each pilot school.
Please review the complete details about PVAAS pilot participation. This information is located at https://pvaas.sas.com. To learn more about the PVAAS pilot, PDE is offering four "What is the PVAAS Pilot?" statewide webinars (these will be archived for anyone that cannot participate in a live session):
- February 22, 2013 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
- February 25, 2013 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
- February 26, 2013 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
- February 26, 2013 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Registration is NOT required to participate in these webinars. A link to join a live webinar will become active 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. To join a session, go to http://elluminate.iu13.org. Using the page numbers on the lower right corner, click through the pages of session titles until you see the title of the session you would like to join.
LEAs must communicate their "Intent to Participate" in the PVAAS pilot via this online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RosterVerification no later than March 1, 2013.
Requirements and timeline for pilot participation:
- By March 1: Submit "Intent to Participate in Pilot" survey
- By March 15: Submit file of staff email addresses and PPIDs (required format)
- April 15-26: Participate in one roster verification training (https://pvaas.sas.com)
- April 29 - June 7: Complete PVAAS roster verification process
- May 13 - June 13: Provide feedback to PDE regarding PVAAS roster verification
- Fall 2013: Participate in one PVAAS Teacher Specific Reporting training
- Fall/Winter 2013: Provide feedback to PDE regarding PVAAS Teacher Specific Reporting
If there are questions regarding the Pilot PVAAS Roster Verification/Teacher Reporting Pilot, please contact the PVAAS Statewide Team for PDE at email@example.com.
Thursday, February 21, 2013 2:21 PM
Article XVI-C of the Public School Code requires the disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities for all public secondary school entities in Pennsylvania. All school entities with grades 7-12 are required to annually collect data concerning team and financial information for all male and female athletes beginning with the 2012-2013 school year and submit the information to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). The first statutorily-imposed deadline for school entities to report this information is October 15, 2013.
In order to assist school entities in planning to comply with the new law, PDE has developed a Draft Disclosure Form, which can be used as a guide for schools to begin collecting data. The form and instructions for completing the disclosure form are available at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/school services office/9153/disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities/1419362
During the summer of 2013, PDE will release a Final Disclosure Form and post the form on the PDE web site. School entities will also be notified via PENN*LINK of the availability of the final form. School entities must use the Final Disclosure Form to report the required information through PIMS by October 15, 2013.
Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all non-school (booster clubs, alumni and other non-school) contributions and purchases must also be reported to PDE.
Please note that school entities are required to post their disclosure forms on their web site and make the forms available to the public no later than November 1 of each year.
PDE is required to post all submitted disclosure forms on its web site. In addition, the department will include the information submitted on the disclosure forms in an annual report, which will be provided to the General Assembly by January 15 of each year.
If you have any questions, please email ra-Athletic-OppReport@pa.gov
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 4:47 PM
A ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court says the state constitution doesn't give people a right to privacy when it comes to their home addresses,
clarifying what has been a major point of dispute in the open records law.
Click here for the full article.
Source: www.witf.org; article written by The Associated Press, Feb 20, 2013.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 2:03 PM
The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has partnered with a company called School Leadership Briefing to develop a series of informative audio-casts on the power of mentors for principals. The first of the series is titled, "Making the Case for Principal Mentoring."
Although, this company sells subscriptions for their work, the NAESP Mentor Series will be availabe at no charge.
NAESP represenative on the PA Principals Association board, Dr. Melissa Patschke, is currently working with them to produce an audio-cast for April titled, "Five Ways Mentoring Supports New School Leaders."Click here
to listen to the first audio-cast of the series.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:38 PM
Michael E. Allison, principal of Hopewell Senior High School, a past PA Principals Association president and a current NASSP board member, participated in a panel discussion called, "Focus on Education: School Violence." The broadcast, produced by PCN and the Education Policy and Leadership Center, will air on the PCN cable network channel tonight at 9 p.m. EST (Feb. 13, 2013).
This premier episode is devoted to the subject of school violence.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:37 PM
On Oct. 24, 2012, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Act 151 of 2012 resulting in sweeping changes to Pennsylvania's existing Child Labor Law. The Act which took effect on Jan. 22, 2013, confers new powers and duties on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, school districts and others with specific responsibilities under the law.
Please be advised that the roles and responsibilities of these state agencies, issuing officers, enforcement officers, employers, parents/guardians and minors will change significantly as the result of this new law. As such, superintendents and others in authority within Pennsylvania's public schools must pay special attention to their new and expanded responsibilities under the law. You can access the new Child Labor Act and an Abstract of the Child Labor Act Hours Provisions on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry's web site.
The Department of Education is currently in the process of arranging for the mass production of the new Application For Work Permit and the Work Permit forms that are to be utilized by issuing officers in all public school districts. In order to allow issuing officers to immediately implement the new process and forms, we are making those forms available on a special web page. In order to control access to these forms, we ask that you not forward this link to any individual except those authorized by your school district. Please be aware that the back of the Application For Work Permit is intentionally blank. The Work Permit, by law, must be "wallet size." Please copy the two pages back-to-back, and then cut to size. The forms can be located on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) web site using the links below:
School District Work Permit Application
School District Work Permit
The following is a brief summary of the major changes to Pennsylvania's Child Labor Law that impact school districts. There are many other changes to the law such as work hours, summer school and high school graduates. You are encouraged to thoroughly review the new child labor law.
1. Although not specifically addressed in the new law, minors who currently possess a valid work permit may continue to utilize that permit to work. Minors, who possess a vacation certificate and desire to work for another employer, may obtain a new work permit from the issuing officer in their school district. All minors who possess either an old or new work permit must follow the new rules regarding employment.
2. Requests for work permits involving theatrical and other similar performances will continue to be processed by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. These minors will need verification signed by the principal of the school attended by the minor or the issuing officer of the minor'ss school district. This statement will verify that the performance and rehearsals will not interfere with the educational instruction or school progress of the minor or a guarantee that arrangements are made for a qualified tutor for the minor. If the minor is to be tutored, the application will set forth the name and address of the tutor, whether the tutor is a certified teacher, the name and address of the school official approving the subjects for tutoring and the tutoring arrangements and the number of hours per week the minor is to be tutored. For additional information on employment of minors in performances and the role that school districts play in approving such permits, please visit the Department of Labor and Industry's web site.
3. Under the new Child Labor Law, an issuing officer can be a district superintendent or a supervising principal of a public school district. If a public school district does not have a superintendent or supervising principal, the secretary of the board of school directors may serve this function. The above officials can authorize, in writing, another individual to issue work permits.
4. Under the new Child Labor Law, neither the employer nor a physician will need to sign an application for a work permit. The new law does require that an applicant's parents or legal guardian sign an application for a work permit. In lieu of a signature by a parent or legal guardian, the applicant can sign a statement before a notary public attesting to the accuracy of facts in the application on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The statement must be attached to the application. This requirement does not apply if the applicant can show official proof of high school graduation.
5. Under the new Child Labor Law, there will only be one work permit rather than three. The new work permit will apply to all minors age 14 through 17 and can be used for more than one employer. The permit will certify that the holder personally appeared before the issuing officer, that all papers required by law have been examined and approved, and that all requirements for issuance have been fulfilled. The work permit must be signed by the holder in the presence of the issuing officer. Minors who can demonstrate official proof of high school graduation do not have to appear before the issuing officer. The issuing officer cannot issue a work permit until they have examined and verified the following papers which verify age: an official document of the commonwealth or if not an official Commonwealth document, an attested transcript of a birth certificate, a certified baptismal certificate, a passport, a certified documentary record or the signed statement of a physician stating that after examination they believe the minor to be of proper age.
6. Under the new Child Labor Law, an issuing officer may deny a work permit if, in the issuing officer's judgment, the applicant cannot maintain adequate academic achievement if permitted to work during the school year. Similarly, an issuing officer may revoke a work permit if in the issuing officer's judgment the minor cannot maintain adequate academic achievement if permitted to work during the school year.
7. Under the new Child Labor Law, an employer must notify the issuing officer within five days of the normal duties and hours of employment of a minor. Within five days after termination of employment, the employer must notify the issuing officer of such termination. Employers are also required to maintain a copy of the minor's work permit.
8. Under the new Child Labor Law, enforcement capabilities have been expanded to include school personnel. The following school officials have enforcement capabilities: chief school administrator, home and school visitor, attendance officer (appointed under sections 1341 and 1342 of the Public School Code), and issuing officer. School districts administer applications and issue work permits. If an enforcement officer has reason to believe that an individual working without a permit is a minor or that a minor with a work permit is working in violation of the age restrictions under the Child Labor Act, the officer may demand that the person employing the individual, provide, within ten days the following: proof of age of the individual in question or cease to employ or permit the individual to work.
For additional information, please contact PDE's School Services unit at 717-787-4860 or via email at
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 2:29 PM
Governor Tom Corbett, joined by members of the General Assembly, along with education and business leaders, talked today [Feb. 12] about reinvesting proceeds from the sale of the state liquor store system into an educational block grant for Pennsylvania's schools.
This Passport for Learning Block Grant is in addition to Corbett's proposed $90 million increase in the upcoming budget's Basic Education Funding line item. This year's proposed $5.5 billion state investment is the highest in state history.Click here
for the full press release.Source: PDE Press Release, Feb. 12, 2013.